NBA YoungBoy "Richest Opp" Album Review

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NBA YoungBoy's "Richest Opp" is his most noteworthy project of 2023, seeing him point fire at the music industry at large.

NBA YoungBoy continues to solidify himself as the most consistent MC in hip-hop with his third project of 2023, Richest Opp. It's his second project within the past month. He's now up to an astounding 69 songs this calendar year. The Louisiana native has been on a tear, partly attributed to YoungBoy being under house arrest. Existing in his own peaceful and lavish world in the mountains of Utah, he's taken the extended time to hone his craft as a rapper.

He's becoming just as well-known for his insane consistency as his skill on the mic. At 23 years old, he's put out far more music than seasoned veteran MCs have throughout an entire hip-hop career. However, YNBA's output directly reflects the internet culture that runs the rap world. New tracks are constantly being teased over Instagram live streams. As hip-hop grows, fans' attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter by the year. The stark reality for many artists is that constant output is the way to relevancy.

"Richest Opp" Is NBA YoungBoy's Third Project This Year

If anyone can get away with this constant output without over-saturating their brand, it's NBA YoungBoy. His aggressive and flamboyant punchlines combined with the high-pitched melodies give him one of the most distinguishable voices in hip-hop. He can dart from rapid flows to melodic vocal harmonies on a dime. As a result, lackluster beats can be compromised with his commanding presence over a track.

In fact, he isn't completely sacrificing quality for quantity on Richest Opp. The overarching tone coming from YoungBoy is anger. Cast out by the industry, he's faced plenty of criticism surrounding his numerous children, criminal background, and controversial headlines. Feeling as if all knives are pointed at him, Richest Opp sees him laser-focused on his pen game. It's to a point where the record's lyrical content becomes disturbing. YoungBoy's imagery surrounding violence sometimes comes off as realistic rather than symbolic. However, this is coming from someone who's genuinely lived that life. NBA YoungBoy grew up in the impoverished streets of New Orleans, getting a first-row seat to violence and drug use.

NBA YoungBoy Calls Out The Music Industry

Take "F**k The Industry Pt.2," where he calls out artists such as Drake, Jay Prince, Lil Durk, and Lil Yachty. Referencing Drake and Durk, he states, "Talked to Drake 'cross FaceTime, he wasn't feelin' me / Told me that he f*ck with Durk, damn, that sh*t gettin' to me / Told me that he like the sh*t I'm doin', but can't do sh*t with me." Accusing past collaborators of doing whatever they can to prevent him from being successful, this "me against the world" mentality remains prevalent throughout the entire record. Sirens race through the background while menacing piano chords work their way into the mix of much of Richest Opp. Other standouts such as "Free Meechy," "Slider," and "Hurt My Heart" follow this dark theme. There are a slew of genuinely great choruses from YoungBoy throughout the record.

Richest Opp begins to falter when it strays away from the core emotion of the record. The more understated, toned-down tracks such as "Just Flow" and "I Got That S**t" leave room for the wallpaper production to become increasingly obvious. As a whole, Richest Opp leaves the listener wishing that NBA YoungBoy was in a room of producers looking to take more sonic risks. The more YoungBoy's ominous voice takes over the record, the better. For the record's redundant flaws, fans will likely leave with a handful of personal favorites to keep them satisfied until the next project inevitably rolls around.

"Richest Opp" Has Sparked Internet Beef

While Richest Opp is likely the best we've heard from NBA YoungBoy in 2023, it leaves the audience wondering, what's next? The headline-making MC can only rap over same-y beats for so long before the hip-hop world moves on to the next prevailing trend. However, the world hasn't moved on yet. Selling a project of 58k units in week one, Richest Opp is set to debut in the Top 5. In fact, the project sets him up for a historic milestone. With the new project, he joins Future and Drake on the list of the highest-selling rappers ever.

For those who've ditched his wild world over the past year, it's worth returning to with Richest Opp. It's his most emotionally charged project in a long while. It's already generated an argument between him and Soulja Boy over social media. Soulja Boy accused NBA YoungBoy of releasing the album on the same day to ride off of his hype. NBA YoungBoy responded with hostility, sparking a beef over social media. However, the beef was nothing more than fun competition between the two vibrant MCs. On the Bootleg Kev Podcast, Soulja Boy confirmed that he'd be open to collaborating with NBA YoungBoy. Still, it looks as if his tension with Lil Durk rages on.

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